Nine years since the creation of bitcoin have been enough to start a financial fever that has taken three million people according to a study from the University of Cambridge to become users of cryptocurrencies. The potential of blockchain to end intermediaries in all types of transactions has dazzled investors around the world.
The five cryptocurrencies with the highest market value
Talking about cryptocurrencies is still talking, in large part, about bitcoin. At the end of July 2018 it has a market value of more than 140,000 million dollars, far surpassing the sum of the following four most important cryptocurrencies.
And although he lived a black first semester from January 1 to June 30 he lost 56% of its value, all that fall was the reverse of his spectacular flood of the end of 2017. Its historic maximum was on December 17, 2017, with a value of $ 19,193.72.
A disaster? It depends. On July 1, bitcoin had risen 156% in interannual terms, and since then it has been experiencing a rally, with a revaluation of around 30%. Blessed disaster for the one who invested (or better bet?) At the right time.
Probably, neither bitcoin was the currency of the future when it was around $ 20,000 nor will it explode from one day to the next like a vulgar Second life.
It is the pioneer cryptocurrency and, until proven otherwise, the most important. But it has problems, such as its scarce utility for companies and the enormous energy expenditure involved in its mining, that is, the computer process by which bitcoins are minted.
One of these flaws, its scalability, led to the creation a year ago of a spin-off, bitcoin cash, in which computer operations involving transactions can be done more quickly. Today it is the fourth currency by market value, but it only supposes, approximately, a tenth part of bitcoin.
The second most important cryptocurrency in market value was also born with the aim of solving some of the bitcoin problems, and three years later, it seems that it is well on track.
Ether is actually more than a simple cryptocurrency: it is the key piece of the Ethereum ecosystem, a blockchain designed as a platform for decentralized applications based on intelligent contracts.
Its creator, Vitalik Buterin, born in Russia in 1994, created a chain of blocks and its own currency, and added what bitcoin creators lacked: the formula for doing business with simplicity, those smart contracts.
With such business logic, Ethereum has generated its own imitators, such as EOS, the fifth cryptocurrency by economic value, which has remained very stable amid the general collapse of the market in the first half.
Maybe your trick is, paradoxically, having arrived apparently late: created in July 2017, did not start the house on the roof and has developed its own software for the construction of decentralized blockchain applications, in addition to raising a fund of fifty million dollars to finance the creation of a business ecosystem around them.
This professional approach is also that of Ripple, a company that has developed the XRP cryptocurrency, the third by market value. It aims to become the reference asset to facilitate and encourage international financial transactions, avoiding currency problems.
But, for now, almost nobody uses it for what was conceived, but as a tool of speculation. To solve it, they are donating huge amounts of money to philanthropic projects, with the objective that their XRPs become a real coin.